Yvette Menard

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since Jan 04, 2014
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Recent posts by Yvette Menard

I know this is 4 months old, but the TMS information I found has relieved years of upper back/neck pain. I spent a lot of time and money on other treatments, pillows, contraptions, etc...
So I started reading Dr John Sarno's stuff (and videos), and got one ONE round of trigger point injections, and the difference is LIFE ALTERING. LITERALLY LIFE ALTERING. I think I need one more round for some of the deeper areas, but to be able to lift my head off of the pillow without using my hands is pretty amazing.
I still get massages (to relax, not to dig into the spasms), I do yoga (to relax, not to stretch certain areas), and I have also reclaimed other activities - biking, running, swimming, strength training.

Hope you feel better Paul and have found some relief in the past four months.


Chris Badgett wrote:To Paul and all those who see are suffering from pain like this from the sacrum to the neck.

I have experienced similar pain and found relief in the most unlikely places.

I would encourage you to have an open mind and check out a condition call TMS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tension_myositis_syndrome

Feel better soon!

4 years ago

james beam wrote:Hey Yvette & MGs, I modified your picture, this what I was suggesting for the additional air end up in the burn tunnel/bottom of the fuel feed area. (I'm guessing that is the air pipe thru the wall that I connected to the burn tunnel... hahaha( well~~~it looks like that might be the pipe thru the wall, I really don't know what that is but it probably needs a pipe connected to it just the same~~~)

Ha ha! fooled you! that's a decorative wine bottle in the wall! The air tube is inside the feed chamber. If I knew how to do those cool drawings on my photo, I'd be able to show you….

About that crack, that is now (2) cracks, did you all have a party and someone was dancing around and gave the old stove an old fashioned bump? That is what I think might have happened. LOL

Yup. Plus I live on the BC coast - who knows how many micro earthquakes we have in a year. (answer: over 300…..)

Michael Ahlefeldt mentioned using a damper valve on the chimney, which would probably be wayyyyyyyyy easier than disconnecting the pipe everytime & stuffing an old shirt in the pipe, yanno to keep the stove from siphoning cold air back into the house. Although your tricky Victoria Foundries feed door looks like it will stop most drafts all by itself without an old shirt or a damper valve.

Yes, it's pretty draft proof in there…..

I thought Michael's suggestion of fixing the crack seems like a good idea to me, although if you want to go deeper into the repair, I made a few suggestions in the picture with notes.

I'm hoping the repairs today will suffice and there won't be a need to remove the barrel and do it all over again. If that ends up being required, I can see me ending up with a very expensive bench….. As well as cementing the hole behind/below the barrel, I replastered some of the smaller cracks. I knew that would happen with the expansion/contraction issues, and even added a little extra plaster to a small gap forming around the entire barrel.

james beam

6 years ago

Michael Ahlefeldt wrote:Hi Everyone

All fireplaces have a vertical chimney- thats to create a draft and get the combustion gasses out- the higher it is, the better draft you get because hot air is lighter than cold air and thus rises- going above the roof apex has nothing to do about catching a draft- its all about achieving height and draft and also a fire safety thing- fireplaces can have sparks coming out of the chimney and its not a good idea to have coals or sparks blowing onto your roof.

There is a vertical chimney there - it doesn't go quite to the roof, but there is only almost cold vapour coming out. The burn is efficient enough that there is nothing else left to come out!

Im just generalizing here but off the top of my head you need a minimum of about 15 feet of chimney to create the draft for a normal wood stove

There's about 18 feet of chimney (horizontal) and then about 5 feet of vertical. The chimney issue seems to be resolved now.

EDIT- got the J part worked out

I cant tell by your description and movie where your crack is but I doubt very much it is “catastrophic”- just fill it with a furnace cement

I did this today! (Well, regular cement). The area underneath the hole in the cob was firebrick - there was no obvious entry into the area where the heat riser is. I'll check it tomorrow to see how it's holding up.

A wild guess would be that the material was heated too quickly and/or too hot before it was dry

That could be it - and that it was too thin to begin with. We really let it dry as much as needed in order to get a fire, and then tried some small fires to heat the cob from the inside out. I think (fingers crossed) the lenght of the bench is okay, and that has very large masses of cob. It makes me think the thinness of the back wall was a bigger issue….

I just saw the new pictures and I could add that its probably a matter of your stonework drying and shrinking and the metal barrel does not- there is also different movement in the different materials- the metal expands in the heat more than the stonework and something will give.

I wouldn't even bother with all the fine points of the air supply until there is a proper draft in the cob heater- a vent of 10 sq. inches will do in the room.

6 years ago
Hi James (and all!) Thank you for the nice compliment of the cord wood wall!
Here is a picture of the full front/side of the RMH - I just painted (BioLime) last week, and a small crack that was on the front of the barrel has since expanded into the painted area. The cracks are almost exactly opposite each other, one on the front, one on the back (which is why is so hard to take even an awful video!! LOL! The crack is NOT where the bench and RMH meet (I have a feeling that would be easier to fix?) but directly behind the barrel, heat riser, etc.
Smoke was definitely passing through the crack at least a little, and yes, that's soot.
Now that it's cold (and when it's light out, it's only 6 am here!) I'm going to see if I can tell how big the crack is - I have a feeling pretty big…..

I really appreciate all the help I'm getting here!!

6 years ago
Thanks, Satamax - I only meant as the coals were burning low, not a recurring or long slow burn. Really more concerned about the crumbling cob at the back of the stove - were you able to see the video?
6 years ago

james beam wrote:
I would be concerned of how hot your wall will become especially next to the burn barrel, you might think about a temporary sheet metal deflector or something (maybe some aluminum foil sheets tacked over the wall) to protect your wall, in the event that the thing is run hard. I'm also concerned of the decorative wood slices you have embedded in the wall, near the burn barrel, I think those could possibly catch on fire, some thin cut bricks or thin rocks should be safer than wood slices near the burn barrel.

The wood pieces are part of the cordwood wall - they are 14" long and go through and through. There is a metal deflector (permanently) installed behind the barrel though, and no cordwood behind it. And a fire extinguisher in the room.

Did the thing burn easier when you had the door or window slightly open?

When you burn the sticks, generally I use a spare brick atop the mouth of the fuel feed to regulate the amount of air to the fire, allowing as much air in... you watch the fire, as the fire rises up the sticks toward your hand push the brick up against the sticks to kind of hold them in place & regulate the rate of combustion. As for the fresh air inlet pipe that goes thru the wall somewhere, (I never could see how it was placed, or constructed from your pix, it just looks like a pipe sticking out of the wall...LOL) Ideally I would want that fresh air pipe to provide air in the fuel feed area very close to the bottom of the burn tunnel.

The feed tube has a sliding cast iron door (it says Victoria Foundries, pretty cool) so I can leave it open a bit if there's a good fire going and I just want a little air. With a really good fire, I can actually close it sometimes and let it slow burn!

( Yep, it's close to the bottom, and closer to the horizontal area not the mouth of the feed tube)

This is because fire always wants to lick or travel toward the air supply, that is why the fire almost always wants to travel up the sticks toward the mouth of the fuel feed where the combustion air comes in at. If the fresh air pipe was plumbed down in the LOWER fuel feed area, toward the bottom of the fuel feed/burn tunnel, this will cause all the action to take place in the bottom of the burn tunnel instead of at the top edge of the fuel feed area, a brick is still used at the mouth of fuel feed area, to regulate air, & help support the fuel sticks.

If you feel like experimenting a little further, try finding some schedule 40 steel pipe to connect to the 'outside air inlet' and plumb the pipe from the wall, make a 90 degree bend at the mouth of the fuel feed port, and continue the pipe to 2" from the bottom of the burn tunnel floor. You may have to make a special cover to compensate for the pipe interfering with the mouth of the fuel feed port. This type air inlet arrangement should reduce 'smoke back' somewhat like the 'P-Channel' Satamax suggested.

Are you using the room for Yoga classes for only an hour or two per day?, if YES then you might want to get the house warmed up 4 hours before the appointment time, and see how it goes. (yes!)

james beam

6 years ago

james beam wrote:

Fix that developing crack right away.

and then I took this video…..


I'm guessing this is a near catastrophic fail…….

6 years ago

I tried an RMH at my house, with the horizontal ground level exhaust, sad but true the natural air currents rising up the hill to my house pretty much stopped any exhaust flow I was hoping to obtain, I put a vertical duct on the same RMH & it worked much better. Hopefully you didn't reduce your duct work diameter, which is another mistake I did..
james beam

So I put the vertical chimney back up, and it's working better. Like before actually. The duct work diameter is the same the length of the bench. I reopened the air tube (even though you suggested not to!) only because it was open when it was working before.

So I seem to have a pretty good fire going, the barrel is smokin' hot (okay, not actually smoking… but water does steam off of it in about 0.04 second). There does happen to be a crack behind the barrel, where Meli thought the cob was kind of thin, so there's a little air coming from there. Hopefully that will not require a full reconstruction…..

I do have two final questions:

1) should I be able to place the lid on the feed chamber and have the fire keep going (like closing a wood stove) or will I always need to keep it at least a bit open?

2) How long does it take for a 18 foot bench to warm up? I think it's getting warm about 12" from the barrel, but that could be from the barrel itself.

thanks all

6 years ago
So the good news is - I stuck a leaf blower into the feed chamber, and I felt (and heard on the outside of the building) air all the way out the chimney. The bad news - I followed your suggestion of burning a piece of paper in the ash clean out, and the smoke did not got toward the chimney, but back drafted toward the heat riser. And then it went out!
I posted pictures of the air tube in my previous post. It's about 1" diameter, and on the inside picture you can barely see it on the left
6 years ago
Thanks for the reply James. I did use a camera (on a cold stove!) to look from the ash clean out toward the heat riser, but I'll try the other way too. Hopefully it's not a collapse at the point where you circled (I am also certain is was well connected before cobbing.)
The exhaust is horizontal to the outside, and then it used to have a high vertical J chimney. I disconnected the J part - I was advised that the cold air was pushing back into the chimney. With just a short horizontal, it seemed to work for a while. I'm hoping that if there is a block, it's something that can be cleaned out and not a collapse.
Do you (or anyone!) have any opinion/information on a small air tube in the feeding chamber? There is one there, but I read on here somewhere that it wasn't necessary and would cause backdraft, so I closed it up - easy enough to reopen though.
Thanks again,
6 years ago